Barcelona will be looking to bounce back on Saturday when they host Alaves after Real Madrid handed the Catalans their first La Liga defeat at Nou Camp last week. On the other hand, Javier Calleja’s men earned their third victory of the season on Tuesday when they defeated Elche 1-0 at home, but they’ll have a much tougher opponent this time as Barca must win at all costs.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 30 October, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Alaves: La Liga TV
Last time: Lionel Messi and Trincao scored two goals each, as Barcelona beat Alaves 5-1 in their last meeting at Nou Camp back in February. Junior Firpo added the fifth for Blaugrana, while Luis Rioja netted the consolation goal for the visitors.
Barcelona v Alaves Predictions and Preview
Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat at home in El Classico means that Blaugrana find themselves in eight place in the La Liga standings after Week 9. However, a defeat against Real Madrid has always had much more impact than what the table suggests and in this case it puts even more pressure on Ronald Koeman.
The Dutchman has been criticized heavily since the start of the season as he has made some bizarre choices and this was the case against Real Madrid as well. Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto and Sergio Aguero all made an impact after coming off the bench in the second half this weekend, but there were some serious question marks over Koeman’s choices in the starting XI.
The good news is that Aguero is getting closer to full fitness and even scored the consolation goal for the Catalans against Real Madrid. The former Manchester City talisman is not yet at 100%, but he will be pushing for a start against Alaves, especially with Ansu Fati failing to impress in a False 9 role against Real.
Barcelona have won their last five games at Nou Camp against Alaves with the Catalans scoring at least two goals in each of them. Blaugrana’s last defeat at home against the Basque side dates back from 2016 when Alaves won 2-1 thanks to strikes from Deyverson and Ibai Gomez.
Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite, Ronald Araujo and Pedri are still recovering from injuries and won’t be available, while Frankie De Jong picked up a knock against Real and is a doubt. Despite this, anything other than an away win in this Barcelona v Alaves preview at 1/4 would be considered as a major shock.
Alaves, meanwhile, earned back to back victories after defeating Cadiz 2-0 on the road during the weekend and beating Elche 1-0 at home. The win over Cadiz was the first away victory for Calleja’s side, but at 11/1 to defeat Barcelona at Nou Camp on Saturday, another victory for Alaves seems unlikely this time. At 5/1 the draw would also be a huge upset as Barcelona simply need to win in order to avoid the six points gap from the league leaders to increase even further.
One to watch for Barcelona: Sergio Aguero is yet to start for Barcelona after his move from Manchester City in the summer. The Argentinian appeared twice from the bench and has just 19 minutes under his belt in La Liga. However, he is already making an impact and even netted his first goal for the club in El Classico, so watch out for him to break the deadlock against Alaves.
One to watch for Alaves: Joselu’s three strikes this term mean that the 31-year-old forward has netted 60% of his side’s goals. Alaves have only scored five times since the start of the campaign and have the second-worse attack in La Liga. All this needs to change if the Basque side are about to upset Barcelona at Nou Camp and Joselu will have to be on his absolute best.
Long shot: Sergio Aguero’s return should help Barcelona with their struggles to finish off their chances. The Catalans have scored at least two goals in each of their last 13 home games against Alaves, while Javier Calleja’s men failed to score in three of their four away games so far. Considering all this, a 2-0 victory for Barcelona seems like a good choice at 6/1, while the odds raise to 29/1 if you pair this with Aguero to score the opener.